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2008 Lambda Award Winners Announced

Thursday, Jun 05, 2008 at 4:23pm

Winners of the 20th annual Lambda Literary Awards were announced recently. The awards are sponsored by the Lambda Literary Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender literature.

According to the press release,

Winners were chosen by a jury of judges who come from all walks of literary life: journalists, authors, booksellers, librarians, playwrights, illustrators. In all, 85 judges participated in the selection of winners from the pool of 463 books that were nominated by 190 publishers.

A complete list of winners follows.

For a listing of all winners and nominees from this and previous years, visit www.lambdaliterary.org.

Categories: Awards

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Return to the Caffe Cino

- by George Birimisa

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Winner of the 2007 Lambda Literary Foundation Book Award (LAMMY) for drama. A collection of over twenty off-off-Broadway plays originally produced at the legendary Greenwich Village coffeehouse during the 1960s, where off-off Broadway theatre was born. In place of a traditional introduction, readers will find memoir-style essays by such pioneers as Edward Albee, Robert Patrick and Phoebe Wray, plus over fifty archival photographs.

Blackbird and Wolf

- by Henri Cole

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I don't want words to sever me from reality.
I don't want to need them. I want nothing
to reveal feeling but feeling--as in freedom,
or the knowledge of peace in a realm beyond,
or the sound of water poured in a bowl.

--from "Gravity and Center"

In his sixth collection of verse, Henri Cole deepens his excavations and examinations of autobiography and memory. These poems--often hovering within the realm of the sonnet--combine a delight in the senses with the rueful, the elegiac, the harrowing. Central here is the human need for love, the highest function of our species. Whether writing about solitude or unsanctioned desire, animals or flowers, the dissolution of his mother's body or war, Cole maintains a style that is neither confessional nor abstract, and he is always opposing disappointment and difficult truths with innocence and wonder.

Between Women

- by Sharon Marcus

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Women in Victorian England wore jewelry made from each other's hair and wrote poems celebrating decades of friendship. They pored over magazines that described the dangerous pleasures of corporal punishment. A few had sexual relationships with each other, exchanged rings and vows, willed each other property, and lived together in long-term partnerships described as marriages. But, as Sharon Marcus shows, these women were not seen as gender outlaws. Their desires were fanned by consumer culture, and their friendships and unions were accepted and even encouraged by family, society, and church. Far from being sexless angels defined only by male desires, Victorian women openly enjoyed looking at and even dominating other women. Their friendships helped realize the ideal of companionate love between men and women celebrated by novels, and their unions influenced politicians and social thinkers to reform marriage law.


Through a close examination of literature, memoirs, letters, domestic magazines, and political debates, Marcus reveals how relationships between women were a crucial component of femininity. Deeply researched, powerfully argued, and filled with original readings of familiar and surprising sources, Between Women overturns everything we thought we knew about Victorian women and the history of marriage and family life. It offers a new paradigm for theorizing gender and sexuality--not just in the Victorian period, but in our own.

Transparent

- by Cris Beam

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When Cris Beam first moved to Los Angeles, she thought she might put in just a few hours volunteering at a school for transgender kids while she got settled. Instead she found herself drawn deeply into the pained and powerful group of transgirls she discovered. In Transparent she intro­duces four of them--Christina, Domineque, Foxxjazell, and Ariel--and shows us their world, a dizzying mix of familiar teenage cliques and crushes with far less familiar challenges like how to morph your body on a few dollars a day. Funny, heartbreaking, defiant, and sometimes defeated, the girls form a singular community. But they struggle valiantly to resolve the gap between the way they feel inside and the way the world sees them--a struggle we can all identify with. Beam's careful reporting, sensitive writing, and intimate relationship with her characters place Transparent in the ranks of the best narrative nonfiction.

Among Other Things, I've Taken Up Smoking

- by Aoibheann Sweeney

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Critically acclaimed by reviewers across the country, Aoibheann Sweeney's beautifully written debut novel is a story of the profound human need for intimacy. For Miranda, the adolescence spent in her fog-shrouded Maine home has been stark and isolated-alone with her troubled father, a man consumed with his work translating Ovid's Metamorphoses, her mother mysteriously gone from their lives. Now, having graduated from high school, Miranda's father arranges for her to stay with old friends in Manhattan, and she embarks on a journey that will open up her father's past and her own world, in ways she cannot begin to imagine.

Call Me by Your Name

- by Andre Aciman

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Winner of the 2008 Lambda Award for Men's Fiction.

Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. During the restless summer weeks, unrelenting but buried currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion as they test the charged ground between them and verge toward the one thing both already fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. Andre Aciman's critically acclaimed debut novel is a frank, unsentimental, heartrending elegy to human passion.

Mississippi Sissy

- by Kevin Sessums

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Mississippi Sissy is the stunning memoir from Kevin Sessums, a celebrity journalist who grew up scaring other children, hiding terrible secrets, pretending to be Arlene Frances and running wild in the South.

As he grew up in Forest, Mississippi, befriended by the family maid, Mattie May, he became a young man who turned the word "sissy" on its head, just as his mother taught him. In Jackson, he is befriended by Eudora Welty and journalist Frank Hains, but when Hains is brutally murdered in his antebellum mansion, Kevin's long road north towards celebrity begins. In his memoir, Kevin Sessums brings to life the pungent American south of the 1960s and the world of the strange little boy who grew there.

"Kevin Sessums is some sort of cockeyed national treasure." --Michael Cunningham